Linus Torvalds, the original creator of Linux, announced good and bad news about Meltdown and Specter security vulnerabilities. The good news is that Linux Kernel 4.15 has been released and is "quiet and small, without last minute panic, with minor fixes for various issues".
In the Linux Kernel mailing list (Linux Kernel Mailing List or LKML), Torvalds reports:
"Most of the 4.15 project was all the regular boring stuff and I mean it was done in the best possible way that may not be glamorous to get titles, but is the bread and butter of core development."
"While Specter / Meltdown was obviously the big news of this development cycle, it is worth noting that we also had all the regular updates and that work elsewhere did not stop, and did not distract developers from CPU issues. In the big picture, 4.15 looks perfectly normal, with two-thirds of the full patch being drivers… and not to reduce CPU errors. ”
But in trying to fix the problems that arose with the Meltdown and Specter vulnerabilities, the developers "spent" a long time on problems that have not yet been completed. First of all, like all developers of any operating system, those of Linux expect Intel hardware designers to complete firmware and microcode updates.
In his latest quarterly report, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said Intel would "restore confidence in data security with a first urgent, transparent and timely communication with the customer." We are still waiting.
Krzanich also said that Intel is "working around the clock" to mitigate Meltdown and Specter defects and that the company will release updated chips later this year to provide a permanent solution. In the long run, defining these hardware architectural design problems may even require users to replace their CPUs.
Meanwhile, Torvalds developers for the Linux kernel know the job is not done.
Torvalds said: "It is worth noting that we are not ready with Specter / Meltdown. It takes more time (arm, specter-v1, etc.) ”
Torvalds believes that “we will have a normal and completely boring development cycle for the 4.16 kernel. "Because boring is really good."